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smith350

Air-game quickly became unmanageable.

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Hello all, just wanted to post some feed-back on the air-game.

In the beginning, there were only small scout ships.

These could be handled by a single F-17. However, as all of you know the F-17 would take some damage if left to its auto-fight mechanics.

This of course leads into one of my gripes about the air-combat. Which is that I need to be very active in the management of an air-fight in order to be as effective as possible. However, I have no love for spamming the space-bar in order to figure out which plane needs to dodge.

I will say that the air-combat is a big step up from Xcom: EU. It has much more potential involvement that Xcom:EU, and just has a lot more depth with the mechanics for squadrons, and aircraft load-outs. I still would love for an auto-resolve button, so I can get back to the much more interesting bits about breaching space-ships(or just the ability to have my ships use their roll on their own initiative). :P

However, the air-combat by the third week(plus or minus a couple days) just became unmanageable with a single base.

Now, why is this a problem? Because the air-combat became unmanageable with-out any warning that it would do so. suddenly getting 5 or 6 different contacts just over-whelmed my 3 air-superiority fighters. Also, the next level up of the scout ships were able to one-shot my F-17's.

I don't have a problem with being one-shot, when I have some reason to expect it. Although that just might be the life-time FPS gamer in me complaining about weapon balance :P

At any rate, the escalation in damage out-put by the alien ships came as a total shock. That may be a part of the game, but once it happened the game very quickly became unmanageable with multiple contacts all appearing at the same time.

So this leads me to my big question: am I expected to stock up on a half-dozen plus fighters per base?

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The game is not really balanced for playability yet. (you can do you own balancing in the xml files somewhere, please visit the modding part of the forum for more info on that) A common complaint is that you get swamped after a while. (think someone figured out how to rduce the waves to one fighter wing per wave)

the team is expecting to do the real balancing during the beta. meaning after they put all the content and features into the game.

which difficulty are you playing on btw? I think UFOs hit harder and can take more of a beating on higher difficulties (but I'm not sure)

PS. there are some helpful threads about aircombat tactics and probably some Lets play Xenonauts vids on youtube that might help you get a firmer grasp on the aircombat.

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This was on normal difficulty, didn't want to jump right into the fire without seeing what I was getting myself into first.

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This was my first surprise in the game as well! Like Gorlom mentioned I read somewhere that general balancing of the campaign hasn't happened yet, so instead I'm treating it as a challenge for now. I've had quite a bit of fun restarting to try out different approaches to countering the alien air force.

I haven't made it past mid-october (due to saving bug at the moment), so I can't tell if my solution is valid, and also haven't browsed for tips, so I'm sure there are others who have already figured out the best way...

But so far my answer is 'yes!'. The first thing I do in the game is start expanding my hanger space and start investing in mig31 research (for alien spacecraft too quick for the f17s). Haven't tried out the first new missiles available from research yet, as stopping power isn't so much my problem at the moment as numbers are.

In my latest game I had 3 f17s & 3 mig31s, and I wasn't quite able to handle the increasing number of fighters. I think I need another f17 or two so that I can rotate damaged crafts and prevent having to use the migs too much in dog fights (might reduce number of migs to 2). My current problem is that by investing so much in one base, I haven't been able to expand to an operational second base yet, and funding in regions outside of my only base are suffering, while replacing aircraft is the the number 1 expense of our operation.

If I feel I'm constantly one or two steps behind of the aliens I think the balance is just right, I like that feeling of dread and being over-whelmed and under-prepared. I had one quite incredible moment when my chinook was being tailed by 3 alien fighters, and I had to use two migs & an f17 to take them out only just in time. Managed to get away without losing a ship somehow!

It's definitely a different feeling than in the original x-com. I like having a suddenly increasing number of alien aircraft--feels much more like an invasion. But like everyone else has said, it likely becomes unmanagable (in a not-fun way), so there is definitely a lot of tweeking to be done.

Edit: edited wrong post!

Edited by Blaster

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mig31 research (for alien spacecraft too quick for the f17s)

F17 is faster and better in dogfights than Mig31 :-s If something is "too quick" for F17 that would mean Mig31 is out of the picture too... Unless what you mean is using Mig31 to spam missiles on them beofre they get too close / escape.

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i love the idea of the dogfight but need to have an auto mechanic which is much better in the final build for those that want the pure turnbased experience (love the look of these air fights as well nice)

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F17 is faster and better in dogfights than Mig31 :-s If something is "too quick" for F17 that would mean Mig31 is out of the picture too... Unless what you mean is using Mig31 to spam missiles on them beofre they get too close / escape.

You use the Foxhound to pile drive the larger ships that can't dodge, said larger ships tend to be too fast for the Falcon to catch up to anyway.

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i love the idea of the dogfight but need to have an auto mechanic which is much better in the final build for those that want the pure turnbased experience (love the look of these air fights as well nice)

Yeah, they've really got a nice look to the whole system; it makes it a lot of fun to watch.

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F17 is faster and better in dogfights than Mig31 :-s If something is "too quick" for F17 that would mean Mig31 is out of the picture too... Unless what you mean is using Mig31 to spam missiles on them beofre they get too close / escape.

I'm talking about max speed on the geoscape.

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F17 is faster and better in dogfights than Mig31 :-s If something is "too quick" for F17 that would mean Mig31 is out of the picture too... Unless what you mean is using Mig31 to spam missiles on them beofre they get too close / escape.

That is totally incorrect. The MIG is faster than the F17.

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I don't even bother using the Mig, since the avalanche torpedoes take an eternity to lock on. Nevertheless, if you are approaching the enemy wing at 90 degrees with your own squadron of 3 F-17s, you are pretty much guaranteed an easy victory. Fly two F-17s to run in front of the enemy wing and position the remaining F-17 on the 6'o clock of the enemy wing. The F-17 slip past missiles if it is running perpendicular to the missile path. Usually the aliens will stay in a clump and try in futility to chase down the first two F-17s. The flanking F-17 can clean the entire wing up with its autocannon.

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On the other hand, if they approach you head on, they usually send one fighter at each of your aircraft, which is trickier to deal with. I have found that sending my F-17s in opposite directions and flying in circles around the whole map on after burners usually works. It's probably faster just to bug out, refuel, and attack again from a different angle though.

The heavy fighter is tougher, but as long as the F-17s encircle their target from a far enough distance, the alien missiles shouldn't hit.

Edited by lemm

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A couple of points....

1) Don't forget the MiG can be completely equipped with light missiles (e.g. sidewinders, alienium missiles, whatever the next step up is, etc.), so if kitted out with light missiles, the MiG should always win verses a standard scout. (The scout has enough time to fire one shot off before the four missiles contact and knock it out of the sky).

2) I've pointed out before a workaround to reduce the number of fighter squadrons clogging up the skies. There are a couple of files you need to adjust. These are: AM_AirSuperiority.xml and AM_GroundAttack.xml. Change the following section in each file from:

<Row ss:AutoFitHeight="0">

<Cell><Data ss:Type="String">Once per wave</Data></Cell>

<Cell ss:StyleID="s23"><Data ss:Type="String">false</Data></Cell>

</Row>

to

<Row ss:AutoFitHeight="0">

<Cell><Data ss:Type="String">Once per wave</Data></Cell>

<Cell ss:StyleID="s23"><Data ss:Type="String">true</Data></Cell>

</Row>

Also be aware that AM_Research.xml (which is the one that spits out scouts) will eventually "upgrade" the class of craft. It starts off light scout, then goes to scout, then goes to two of the more advanced classes of fighter-craft. This means if you play long enough, you will stop getting scouts, and start getting fighters anyway. If you don't like that, delete the two fighter-craft classes after the scout, and it will only spit out scouts.

I've been experimenting to see how squadrons and single ships are triggered, but I've not got very far.

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At the moment, i think that the airgame is pretty much unbeatable, at least on veteran. I am at the end of october, and every few day about 3-5 single heavy fighters spawn. Maybe somewhere in between are some useful ships, but the problem with the heavy fighters is that they completely ignore my f-17s, which are also completely incapable of catching them. Thus i have to use MIGs, which due to not being able to barrel-roll always eat a missile to the face. Usually this is not a large problem, eat missile, be at 50%, kill alien, repair. But strangely enough, sometimes the one missile just instantly kills my MIGs. Also, there are so many fighters that i can't catch them all, so i usually miss the interesting ships that actually leave a mission behind, kill 3-4 fighters, and lose a MIG from time to time, and slowly bankrupt myself doing so.

It is also incredibly annoying the alien bases and terror missions ALWAYS spawn out of range of my dropship. Having 2 bases would help with this problem, but i see no way to afford this at all, while still being able to down alien ships.

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I am struggleing with the air gameplay too. I find after the first month the UFO's start coming in waves and shooting down my aircraft with great ease. But then again this is only Alpha and I was expecting random stuff. Not that I'm not impressed, this game is awesome so far.

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Mentioned this ages ago, in the mists of time. As has been said, it's yet to be balanced so for now I just try to take out what I can and (not so silently) curse the alien bleeders.

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Jup, it is rather unbalanced right now - but if air combat really makes the game unplayable for you, you could improve the stats of your aircraft weapons a bit. Both range and time-to-lock can quite easily be changed in the aircraftweapons.xml file. Just remember to backup the original file in case you break it.

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i love the air combat, and how many ufos spawn makes you fell like your being invaded by aliens and makes air power very very important. and i like how its a mimi game.

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Most of my bases have 2 MiGs and 2 F17's, which I load with elerium missiles when I can (they help a lot for heavy fighters), or with torpedoes when engaging larger vessels (4 torps make a corvette a piece of cake).

They only problem I have is with landing craft escorted by 2 heavy fighters. I haven't managed to take a group like that down without losing 2 aircraft. Any suggestions, other than exploiting poor targeting AI? ;)

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Grrr. What's a good way to avoid the fire in a MIG? Taking them out isn't a problem; repairing for ages afterwards is annoying. This isn't fighters, of course, they just do the same to my F-17s even when I get them to barrel-roll.

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Range is a problem that is bugging me already. I have two bases from the start (used most of my cash to get them both up and running) and now have great difficulty making ends meet. Then a terror mission pops up that's near the OTHER base that doesn't have drop ship yet (can't afford a second one yet, plus the cost of a second squad of troops) so I quickly rush to ship my drop ship to the other base, with troops, just barely get things ready to go, terror mission still on... and my drop ship can only hold one troop now?!? That was seriously annoying!

As far as fighter combat goes I've had better luck. I usually do one mig and two f-17s. If they have the fuel I after burn the f-17s and turn the mig away from combat briefly, disable all but one missile per fighter (all ships aimed at different targets if more than one is enemy present) so the enemy tends to focus on the F-17s (he targets the nearest to which ever UFO is firing) That I can generally dodge while the mig gets back on course. I usually stock the mig with 3 sidewinders and 1 avalanche which seems to cover most eventualities. I still occasionally lose a fighter, but with fiddling targets in the dogfight in the end I can usually down the UFOs without losing a fighter. I've come across scouts, small scouts fighters and heavy fighters and this seems to work pretty well on those it can catch (the group is as slow as F17 on the map so it can't catch those pesky fast ones)

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Is the Air War any better yet? I stopped because it just frustrated me, as mentioned a auto function would be good, I want to deploy my ground forces not fly fighters, the custom load outs and all that is cool but once you send them on the way that's all I care about.

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Well I had my first go in a while and am in the middle of a ground mission so I'll just make do and enjoy what i can. It's all good

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